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How To Install Carpet On Stairs

Updated on March 26, 2012

If you have decided that the carpet needs to be replaced in your house and would like to know how to cover the stairs the same way let me tell you. I use to live in a house with no carpet on the stirs number one my feet were freezing in the morning thanks goodness for slippers. But, it also had the Hardwood floor and after many years the wood would fade or crack and a good way to make it look better was to put carpet.

There are several different ways to add beautiful carpeting to your stairs here we are going to talk about using a method known as the “Waterfall Method”. This method is the most widely used and it generally covers the riser and the tread. Another method used in the installation of carpet is called the “Cap and Band”. The cap is the piece of carpet that will cover the treads and the band is the one that covers the risers.

There are specific tools that you are going to need to install the carpet properly so I will liet the basic ones here for you

1. Tack Strips

2. Staple nails

3. Measuring Tape

4. Knee Kicker (It consists of a piece of metal tubing with a pin plate attached to it)

5. Stair tool

6. Hammer

7. Razor knife

When installing new carpet there is always the chore of removing the old carpet. Make sure you remove the carpet and any old tack nails that may be there. Also purchase new padding since the old one is just that old don’t believe me smell it. Then thoroughly sweep the stairs and make sure any additional nails are out of the way before you begin.

Now for a little math, we all hate it well most of us those that don’t what can I say congratulations “smile”. So using some basic math we should be able to figure out exactly how much actual carpet you will need to cover the area of the stairs. To find the width of the stairs measure the tread from one side to another. Make sure that if you have stairs that are open a little on one or the other ends that you measure going under the nose where it meets the initial riser to get the total width. Figuring out the length is just as easy by measuring the tread and riser then if you are using new padding underneath always add for protection about 2-3 inches for padding. If your stairs contain nosing add one foot to the total flight measurement.

Okay, enough of the math my head hurts, Star the installation at the top and work your way down because going up can be done just harder. Tack one of the tack strips and tighten the carpet by tucking in the crotch. Using the knee Kicker that you rented or bought it is much easier to get a tighter seal. Simply place the padded end several inches above your knee and add pressure.

To attach the tack strip you use the knee kicker to stretch the carpet from the center of the tread to the crotch. Use the tread and then hook it to the tack strip at the base. Once the carpet is in position you can attach it to the carpeting tool and slowly move back and forth to get the pins to compress and stick. Then using the razor knife trim the excess off. Repeat the process on each side of the tread, Then before going on to the next one make sure it is as smooth as you can get it to prevent future accidents and then staple the carpet under the lip of the stair.

Then take a step back try it and if everything looks good and in the correct place start the next one. But ask yourself some basic questions is it smooth, no holes or bumps that someone could trip on? Did you kick the carpet into the base as much as possible? If the answer is no to any of them rip it up and do it again. It may take a little practice but hey at least you have less than 15 steps right?

Once finished you know you saved a bundle by doing it yourself and also have a little bit of self-pride when it comes to looking at your brand new carpeted staircase


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  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

    Thank you for great hub with information to lay carpet on the stairs.

  • whitton profile image

    whitton 7 years ago

    Nice Hub. Great steps on how to install carpet on your stairs.